The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Assistant professor gives tips on self-pampering

People need to take care of themselves to be mentally healthy, said a psychology assistant professor on South Campus April 18.

Staussa Ervin shared her budget-friendly, self-care tips in How to Pamper Yourself on a Budget with SE Campus students.
“It’s really important to take a bath, shower, not just for cleanliness. We’re not talking about cleanliness. We’re talking about self-care,” she said. “Just a quick two-minute shower makes the difference between night and day because the water refreshes us, revives us.”

Her “big” self-care tip she encouraged students to try is Epsom salt, which she purchases at a dollar store. Students should make sure the tub is clean before filling it with hot water, pouring in the whole box of Epsom salt and soaking in the water for 15 minutes to see the result, Ervin said.

“Your entire face, body will be full of sweat. Those are toxins and all the nasty and gunky stuff coming out,” she said. “Do this at night before you go to bed.”

Essential oils can make the bath an even better experience, Ervin said.

“These are 100 percent pure,” she said. “They come from plants, herbs or fruits.”

Essential oils can be purchased at Whole Foods for $3-$4, and only three to four drops are needed in the Epsom salt bath, Ervin said.

Her second tip is getting enough sleep.

“We go through several stages of sleep at night. We go through these stages several times at night, stage one, stage two, stage three, stage four and REM sleep [Rapid Eye Movement],” she said. “If you’re not getting into Rapid Eye Movement sleep, you’re sluggish, you’re tired. You are probably hungry and craving salty and fat foods.”

When she worked at an inpatient psychiatric hospital with people who were either suicidal or homicidal, Ervin said, the one thing that those patients had in common is they slept three to four hours consistently.

Most Americans today have some type of sleep disorder, she said.

“We have to change our attitude about sleep, and we have to change our sleep environment,” she said.

Ervin suggested using the bedroom only as a place to sleep, not to read or watch TV. She also suggested wearing pajamas and only wearing them when going to sleep so the body associates that piece of clothing with sleep.

Scenting the bedroom was another tip. If using incense, people should put it in a secure place so when it burns, the ashes fall down into something that is not flammable, she said.

“Incense is pretty inexpensive. You can pick it up most places for a dollar or $2,” she said.
Writing in a journal before going to sleep is also helpful, Ervin said.

“One of the best things to do if you have insomnia or sleep-onset insomnia or just anxiety in general is to let go of all that before you go to bed,” she said. “This journal is private. No one ever reads it except for you.”

If people notice they are writing about something repeatedly that they are struggling with, it might help them make a change, Ervin said.

Listening to soothing music when going to sleep has benefits as well.

“Just listening to the music can be a meditation,” she said.

Also, meditating is equivalent to stage three sleep, so people get the same benefits as if they were in a deep-level stage three sleep, but they are awake, Ervin said.

“One of the easiest meditations to do for people who don’t meditate is called the candle meditation. So all you do is you simply light a candle, you sit in front of the candle and you look at the flame,” she said. “That’s it, and you try to empty your mind.”

Her final tip is to drink plenty of water. Water increases the metabolism, helps get rid of bacteria and toxins, moisturizes the skin and calms the nervous system.

“If you get to the point where you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated,” she said. “If your body has to ask you for water, you haven’t been giving it enough.”

Melita Mensah, a sophomore nursing student, said it is important to take care of herself, and she will definitely remember Ervin’s tips.

“Some of those [tips] I had in mind, but to hear it again was like, ‘Oh, that’s what I should be doing,’ especially water, something as simple as that,” she said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian